Complications of Pelvic Mesh

The complications of pelvic mesh surgeries performed to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) were the subject of an FDA Safety Communication in 2011. The safety announcement lists pelvic mesh and vaginal mesh malfunctions such as erosion and bladder perforation.

In pelvic organ prolapse, internal tissues and organs have dropped downwards from their normal positions, into the vagina. The insertion of pelvic mesh to correct this problem and support the internal organs is one option for pelvic organ prolapse, but the surgery is not without serious risks. The same is true for the implantation of vaginal mesh and other surgical mesh techniques used to treat stress urinary incontinence.

The FDA's Safety Communication states that the risks of placing mesh—whether it's synthetic or organic mesh—through the vagina to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence may outweigh the potential benefits.

Signs and Symptoms of Mesh Problems

The signs and symptoms of problems with pelvic mesh may appear immediately after a pelvic mesh surgery, or they may appear much later, in a gradual or sudden fashion. Tens of thousands of women and men receive pelvic mesh each year in the U.S. for a variety of symptoms, and each case is unique. However, the FDA's communication noted that the number of complications has been increasing. In fact, approx. 1,500 reports of adverse events linked to pelvic mesh and vaginal mesh were filed with the FDA from 2008 to 2010, which is a fivefold increase over the years 2005 to 2007.

The complications of pelvic mesh and vaginal mesh surgeries include:

  • bleeding
  • erosion of the mesh through the vaginal tissue (the mesh protrudes out of the vaginal tissue)
  • infection, including urinary tract infections
  • bladder perforation
  • pain
  • pain during intercourse
  • the need for additional surgeries to remove the mesh
  • urinary problems, including difficulty urinating (i.e., urine retention) due to mesh malfunctions

What to Do If You Had Pelvic Mesh Surgery

If you had pelvic mesh or vaginal mesh surgery and you are suffering from complications, you should speak with an attorney about your right to compensation. To schedule a free case review with an experienced transvaginal mesh lawyer, please contact us today.

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